Sewer system dos and don'ts

As a ratepayer you financially support the GMWC systems. There are several ways that you can help us ensure minimal maintenance requirements and effective treatment resulting in cost-effective operations.

Here are some do’s and don’ts suggestions that you may want to follow:  


  • Do follow the suggestions listed below to save Greater Moncton residents money and avoid significant maintenance at GMWC systems.
  • Do scrape grease and food residue from dishes and pans into a garbage bag before placing into your dishwasher or sink. This will reduce grease build-up in the sewer lines.
  • Do place a wastebasket in the bathroom to dispose of solid wastes such as disposable diapers, condoms, and personal hygiene products do not belong in the sewer system.
  • Do use a strainer over the drain in your sink, tub and shower. Then, empty the collected material into the garbage.
  • Do use the manufacturer's recommended amount of detergent for washing in the kitchen or laundry. The average household uses three times more detergent than manufacturers recommended for washing dishes and clothes. When these detergents enter the sewer system, they hold large amounts of fats, oils, and grease in suspension making wastewater treatment difficult and more costly. In addition to saving money on buying detergents, by cutting down on the amount of detergent used, there will also be less phosphate release to the environment to cause the growth of algae in water.
  • Do use substitutes for household hazardous waste. Replace hazardous products with products that are less environmentally harmful. 


  • Do not pour fats, oils and grease from cooking down the sink drain. 
  • Do not use the toilet as a garbage can.
  • Do not use the sewer as a means to dispose of food scraps.
  • Do not discard food scraps, tealeaves, coffee grounds and eggshells down the sink. 
  • Do not pour paint, engine oil, pesticides or chemicals down the sink. Some hazardous materials can corrode the sewer, while others upset the treatment process. This isn't only because of the threat of these hazards getting into the environment; but also because these chemicals pose a health threat to maintenance crews working in the sewers. Similarly, by throwing hazardous materials in the garbage, you are creating a risk for garbage collectors. Instead, store the chemicals in sealed containers and contact your municipality for advice on where to take them for safe disposal.
  • Don’t flush dangerous and damaging substances into your wastewater treatment system. Specifically, do not flush . . .
    • Pharmaceuticals
    • Excessive amounts of bath or body oils
    • Water softener backwash
    • Flammable or toxic products
    • Household cleaners, especially floor wax and rug cleaners
    • Chlorine bleach, chlorides, and pool or spa products
    • Pesticides, herbicides, agricultural chemicals, or fertilizers

Don't ever flush the following down the drain:

  • Egg shells, gum, coffee grounds
  • Tea bags, chewing tobacco, cigarette butts
  • Condoms, dental floss, sanitary napkins, diapers
  • Paper towels, newspapers, candy wrappers
  • Rags, large amounts of hair
  • Razor blades
  • Syringes
  • Baby wipes, medicated wipes, cleaning wipes, disposable wipes and wipes made of non-biodegradable material
  • Also, toys can find their way into the system and cause problems.